DAVE THE POTTER by Laban Carrick Hill

DAVE THE POTTER

Artist, Poet, Slave
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

The enslaved 19th-century potter Dave, who lived and worked near Edgefield, S.C., could transform 60 pounds of clay into a 40-gallon pot. Hill crafts a poetic tribute that’s respectful and playful, much like the potter’s own short verse, which was frequently incised onto the shoulders of his handsome stoneware jars. Collier’s rich watercolor collages adopt many angles of perspective to reveal the potter’s strength and artistry. From above the picture plane on a fold-out spread, he dramatically focuses on four successive stages of creation as “Dave’s hands, buried / in the mounded mud, / pulled out the shape of a jar.” Backmatter includes a biographical essay interspersing eight of Dave’s poems with selected facts. The paragraphs don’t always address Dave’s often cryptic poems, which could confuse young readers, and the probable biblical basis for some of the excerpted poems is not mentioned. The questionable omission of facts about Dave’s emancipation and adoption of the surname Drake relegates young readers to viewing the potter’s life in enslaved stasis. Nonetheless, an accomplished, visually stunning homage to an important African-American artist. (author’s and illustrator’s notes, bibliography, websites) (Picture book/poetry/biography. 7-10)



Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-316-10731-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2010




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